Over the past few weeks we've had some stressful moments, mainly around my husband's job being eliminated and us waiting to see what job the company was going to replace it with. Over the weeks my husband kept telling me how much he appreciated me not freaking out and being supportive. I'm so happy that I am able to help keep a calm and mostly positive environment at home when he's stressed out about work/money/life.
But the past 5 years since we've been married has been extremely stressful. From a surprise pregnancy at 21 and getting married to him at 22, after knowing him for only 4 months, to moving several times, the death of his father, food pantry visits, a bankruptcy, to having 2 more children (now we're at 3 kids under 5) and me always trying to be the one to pick up all the pieces when things (keep) falling apart.
I'm so grateful that even with all of this I have been able to take time to introspect and learn more about myself as a woman. But right now, I really just want to fall apart. I haven't cried in a long time, but yesterday I was on the phone with a friend and completely broke down. I just am tired of always having to hold it together and be the strong one. I want to be able to say to my husband, "I need to break open... I need you to just take care of me," without it seeming like I'm ungrateful for the hard work he does do to help support our family financially.
I know we all need a break, but I've been taking care of him and the children non-stop for 5 years. When is it time for someone to take care of me? Does that sound selfish?
It doesn't sound selfish. But realize that because you're always the strong one, they don't always know that you need that kind of support... kwim? I know--I live(d) that same role in my household. And I'm now married 13 years.
It. is. hard. to open up and dictate in very specific terms what you really need. For one, I always felt like they should just do these things and for a while, I felt like if I had to tell them in those kind of detail, then it wasn't coming from my husband in a genuine manner. But eventually I realized that he simply had no idea how to be there for me. I was just such a different animal from him and he was (in his words) in awe of my strength--he couldn't imagine a hug meaning anything to me and he felt silly that it was "all he had to offer". So he kept grasping for ways that he felt matched my strength and could never figure it out.
We all need to hug and hold and rock the inner child in us. We all need a place to feel safe and seek refuge. Your husband may very well be able to be that place... but you may have to lead him there.
And yeah... that still feels like you're driving the boat for a while. But start down the path... kwim?
Hugs, hugs and more hugs, mama.
Heather - Wife , Mommy & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices that fit your family...
Thank you. I know it's going to take a while. for me to get to that place where I can even ask. I hate to ask for things. But you're right; he won't know if I don't actually tell him what it is that I need and want.
You might be able to start by asking questions about what he thinks about your needs or how you feel so that you can open the dialogue and talk about what ideas or beliefs he has that might be inaccurate... which sets the stage for change without having to ask for it... kwim? And it could be a discussion covering both of your needs and how both of you see one another. In the end, nobody loses and you're not in the position of having to ask outright...?